Is Nursing Marketable in Kenya


Nursing is one of the most marketable courses in Kenya and the world at large. In Kenya you will either pursue diploma or degree in Nursing. There are also certificate courses related to Nursing, but are not as marketable as diploma and degree levels.

Many aspiring Nursing students are seeking information before enrolling for the course whether Nursing is a marketable career. My input is, if you have a chance to study Nursing, enroll now—this is the best course to study in Kenya apart from Bachelor of Medicine & Surgery.

After graduation, you will either secure a job in Kenya or abroad—as a nurse or caregiver. The demand for Nurses in USA and Europe is high. Those countries have a big percentage of ageing population who need the care of Nurses. They have reached a point they are importing nurses from developing nations. Kenya’s education system is superior to most African countries, graduates from Kenya are often more competitive for opportunities abroad.

At the moment, courses related to computer science, health and IT are the most marketable. But we have people whose hearts are in Nursing.

Where to study Nursing in Kenya and admission requirements

You can opt to pursue Bachelor or Diploma in Nursing. The best institution for Diploma in Nursing is Kenya Medical Training College(KMTC) and for Bachelor of Nursing, the best institutions are:

  • University of Nairobi—Entry C+
  • JKUAT—Entry C+
  • Mount Kenya University—Entry C+
  • Kabarak University—Entry C+
  • Karatina University—Entry C+
  • The Aga Khan University—Entry C+
  • Chuka University—Entry C+
  • Kenya Methodist University—Entry C+
  • University of Eastern Africa, Baraton—Entry C+

To join KMTC, you are required to score C- and above in KCSE, which is for Diploma in Nursing.

Chances of getting a job with Nursing in Kenya

Diploma in Nursing takes 2-3 years to complete. Upon completion, you will take a maximum of 1 year of job seeking to get a job. Most Nurses secure employment immediately after graduation or during attachment. In case you are pursuing the course, know that it won’t take you long after graduation to secure employment—-it’s a sure bet.

With a Degree in Nursing, it won’t take 6 months before securing a job. It’s equally marketable.

If you don’t want to work in Kenya, apply for jobs abroad. Germany, USA, Canada, Australia and UAE are among the countries which desperately need nurses at the moment. In those countries, you will earn over Ksh 300,000 per month.

Salaries of Nurses in Kenya

Nurses with diploma qualification who work for private hospitals in Kenya earn Ksh 40,000 to Ksh 90,000 per month. Aga Khan, The Nairobi Hospital, The Mater Hospital, Getrude’s Children’s Hospital and The Karen Hospital are among the highest paying hospitals in Kenya. Such hospitals pay nurses Ksh 70,000 to Ksh 150,000 per month.

Public hospitals pay Nurses Ksh 35,000 to Ksh 70,000 per month. But those nurses are allowed to own their clinics and Chemists

Nurses with Bachelor’s degree earn as high as Ksh 200,000 per month. They earn almost as much as medical doctors. The average monthly salary of a Nurse with a Bachelor’s degree in Kenya is Ksh 80,000.

Courses which are better than Nursing in Kenya

  • Bachelor of Medicine & Surgery
  • Bachelor of Law
  • Bachelor of IT
  • Bachelor of Software Engineering
  • Bachelor of Computer Science
  • Bachelor of Computer Engineering
  • Bachelor of Pharmacy
  • Diploma in Pharmacy
  • Piloting

If you don’t get a chance to pursue Nursing, select one of the listed courses—they are also marketable.

Challenges nurses face in Kenya

As a nurse, you are likely to develop depression because the job is stressful. This is one area where you will be forced to work day and night. Those night shifts are a nightmare for many nurses.

Another challenge is low pay. Nurses, especially those working in government institution are underpaid. You’ll find a nurse who has worked at Kenyatta National Hospital for 10 years earning Ksh 60,000. Nurses with such long working experience earn over Ksh 800,000 in USA.

Only a few hospitals pay nurses in Kenya well.

Due to poor pay, majority of Nurses are seeking greener pastures abroad.

Delayed salaries. Majority of Nurses work for county hospitals. You will hear them complain that they have not been paid for 3 months. This is a big challenge for nurses.


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